Freedom Come-All-Ye

  1. Roch the wind in the clear day’s daw­in
    Blaws the cloods heel­ster-gowdie ower the bay
    But there’s mair nor a roch wind blaw­in
    Through the great glen o’ the warld the day.
    It’s a thocht that will gar oor rot­tans
    A’ they rogues that gang gal­lus, fresh and gay
    Tak the road, and seek ither loanins
    For their ill ploys, tae sport and play.
  2. Nae mair will the bon­nie callants
    Mairch tae war when oor brag­garts crouse­ly craw
    Nor wee weans frae pit-heid and clachan
    Mourn the ships sail­ing doon the Broomielaw,
    Bro­ken faim­lies in lands we’ve her­ri­et
    Will curse Scot­land the Brave nae mair, nae mair;
    Back and white, ane til ither mair­ri­et,
    Mak the vile bar­racks o’ their mais­ters bare.
  3. So come a’ ye at hame wi’ Free­dom,
    Niv­er heid whit the hood­ies croak for doom.
    In your hoose a’ the bairns o’ Adam
    Can find breid, bar­ley-bree and paint­ed room.
    When Maclean meets wi’s freens in Spring­burn,
    A’ thae ros­es and geens will turn tae bloom,
    And a black lad frae yont Nyan­ga
    Dings the fell gal­lows o’ the burghers doon.


Hamish Hen­der­son com­posed the Free­dom Come-All-Ye for CND demon­stra­tors in 1960. It does not speak explic­it­ly against nuclear weapons, but against the mind­set that caus­es our soci­ety to go to war, and to har­bour these weapons of mass destruc­tion. He sees in this song the Scot­land that John Maclean envi­sioned before him, a vision that the Scot­tish Peace covenant car­ries today: a place of free­dom ground­ed in extend­ing the hand of friend­ship rather than wag­ing war.

The arrange­ment we sing is based on one by Glas­gow wom­en’s choir, Eury­dice. The tune, is an adap­ta­tion of the First World War pipe march The Bloody Fields of Flan­ders, which Hen­der­son first heard played on the Anzio beach­head. The orig­i­nal tune was writ­ten by John McLel­lan, D.C.M.

Dick Gaugh­an has some use­ful notes on the song, includ­ing an inter­pre­ta­tion of the mean­ing in English.


This entry was posted in and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.